Surely the tumbledown storefront that houses the main branch of the ILK co-op on the increasingly gentrified Santa Fe Drive gives no indication that inside, as often as not, are some of the best art shows in town. That was definitely the case early this spring when the south gallery was swept clean, painted, and given over to Untitled: Steven Altman, a solo show that featured some of this highly regarded Denver painter's latest abstractions. And they were sensational. Altman first lays a grid of paper on a board, then paints over it in a gestural style; his unerring sense of composition and striking juxtapositions of color provided this show with a number of breathtaking moments.

Surely the tumbledown storefront that houses the main branch of the ILK co-op on the increasingly gentrified Santa Fe Drive gives no indication that inside, as often as not, are some of the best art shows in town. That was definitely the case early this spring when the south gallery was swept clean, painted, and given over to Untitled: Steven Altman, a solo show that featured some of this highly regarded Denver painter's latest abstractions. And they were sensational. Altman first lays a grid of paper on a board, then paints over it in a gestural style; his unerring sense of composition and striking juxtapositions of color provided this show with a number of breathtaking moments.

Manitou Springs artists Tracy and Sushe Felix have exhibited in Denver since the 1980s. Both are highly regarded, and both have their pieces in many art collections (including the Denver Art Museum's). For this stunning show last summer, gallery director Bill Havu gave a large space to each artist -- and separating them from each other was a good idea, since stylistically, their paintings are clearly distinct. Husband Tracy's are lyrical, magic-realist scenes of imaginary yet familiar mountains; Sushe, on the other hand, uses transcendental symbolism to make abstracts. Both base their work on historical regional precedents from early in the twentieth century, Tracy responding to the artists of the Broadmoor Academy, Sushe to those who worked in Taos. Both Felixes are worth catching, whether they're together, as they were here, or apart, as is more often the case.

Manitou Springs artists Tracy and Sushe Felix have exhibited in Denver since the 1980s. Both are highly regarded, and both have their pieces in many art collections (including the Denver Art Museum's). For this stunning show last summer, gallery director Bill Havu gave a large space to each artist -- and separating them from each other was a good idea, since stylistically, their paintings are clearly distinct. Husband Tracy's are lyrical, magic-realist scenes of imaginary yet familiar mountains; Sushe, on the other hand, uses transcendental symbolism to make abstracts. Both base their work on historical regional precedents from early in the twentieth century, Tracy responding to the artists of the Broadmoor Academy, Sushe to those who worked in Taos. Both Felixes are worth catching, whether they're together, as they were here, or apart, as is more often the case.

As a parting gesture to the Pirate co-op, Stephen Batura mounted the most ambitious painting he had ever done right before resigning his commission as a member. "Floodplain" was a mammoth abstraction that was a full forty feet long and twelve feet high, essentially filling the entire south wall in Pirate's main space. Using short brushstrokes in cool shades of gray and green, Batura broadly referred to light reflecting off of water. This mural led the artist to create an entire series based on light and water; several of these later paintings were shown earlier this year at Ron Judish Fine Arts. Batura's been around for a long time, and over the years he's painted everything from dresses to train wrecks, but he's at his best when exploring his latest set of interests.
As a parting gesture to the Pirate co-op, Stephen Batura mounted the most ambitious painting he had ever done right before resigning his commission as a member. "Floodplain" was a mammoth abstraction that was a full forty feet long and twelve feet high, essentially filling the entire south wall in Pirate's main space. Using short brushstrokes in cool shades of gray and green, Batura broadly referred to light reflecting off of water. This mural led the artist to create an entire series based on light and water; several of these later paintings were shown earlier this year at Ron Judish Fine Arts. Batura's been around for a long time, and over the years he's painted everything from dresses to train wrecks, but he's at his best when exploring his latest set of interests.
Right out of art school, sculptor Melanie Hoshiko hit a home run with the solo show Traverse, presented at the Gallery at Guiry's in the Ballpark neighborhood. Hoshiko delved into neo-minimalism with chaste, three-dimensional wood constructions that read like two-dimensional paintings. Her use of modernist color combinations such as red and black or black and white, were quite effective, as was her meticulous craftsmanship. Though she has been relatively unknown until now, our best guess is that Hoshiko's distinctive style will soon become a classic on the Denver art scene's hit parade.

Right out of art school, sculptor Melanie Hoshiko hit a home run with the solo show Traverse, presented at the Gallery at Guiry's in the Ballpark neighborhood. Hoshiko delved into neo-minimalism with chaste, three-dimensional wood constructions that read like two-dimensional paintings. Her use of modernist color combinations such as red and black or black and white, were quite effective, as was her meticulous craftsmanship. Though she has been relatively unknown until now, our best guess is that Hoshiko's distinctive style will soon become a classic on the Denver art scene's hit parade.

The Singer Gallery at the Mizel Arts Center is little more than a good-sized room at the Jewish Community Center in Hilltop, but it's one of the best places in town to see contemporary art. Last year the gallery was taken over by Simon Zalkind, who began to fill the Singer's calendar with interesting shows -- and one of the most compelling was Fragments, which featured the work of the world-famous Colorado artist John DeAndrea, renowned for his super-realistic depictions of the female figure ("Linda," one of the Denver Art Museum's most well-known pieces, is his creation). For Fragments, Zalkind mostly chose sculptures that were in an experimental state, such as the dozens of heads DeAndrea used as study models and placed on shelves. The show also included some of DeAndrea's latest bronze busts, which were finished traditionally rather than painted naturalistically, as in his earlier, signature style.
The Singer Gallery at the Mizel Arts Center is little more than a good-sized room at the Jewish Community Center in Hilltop, but it's one of the best places in town to see contemporary art. Last year the gallery was taken over by Simon Zalkind, who began to fill the Singer's calendar with interesting shows -- and one of the most compelling was Fragments, which featured the work of the world-famous Colorado artist John DeAndrea, renowned for his super-realistic depictions of the female figure ("Linda," one of the Denver Art Museum's most well-known pieces, is his creation). For Fragments, Zalkind mostly chose sculptures that were in an experimental state, such as the dozens of heads DeAndrea used as study models and placed on shelves. The show also included some of DeAndrea's latest bronze busts, which were finished traditionally rather than painted naturalistically, as in his earlier, signature style.

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